BLADE India, an aggregator for helicopter services, is set to expand its presence to Goa, Uttarakhand and Karnataka among other regions. The firm will also add five more helicopters to its services in this fiscal year.
Amit Dutta, Managing Director of BLADE India said that the firm, which had to temporarily shutdown itsoperations due to Covid-19 in 2020, was able to restart its services in November. It has then witnessed a 60 per cent rise in leisure travel compared to pre-Covid levels.
Speaking to BusinessLine about the company’s plan for the fiscal, Dutta said: “We are making aggressive plans, and spreading across India using the short-haul segments and tourism. Over the next 12 months, apart from the expansion in Maharashtra, we are looking to operate in at least three new states including Karnataka, Goa and Uttarakhand.” Routes in Karnataka are likely to start services by June 2021.
Last month, the company also announced the signing of an MoU with Airbus to spread awareness about helicopter rides and expand BLADE’s fleet. Currently, BLADE operates with eight helicopters. Dutta said that for the fiscal, it plans to add at least four more helicopters to its operations.
Speaking about other plans, Dutta pointed out that the firm is aggressively partnering with five star and luxury hotel chains to offer packages. In the next fiscal, it also plans to offer air ambulance services.
Post Covid-19, there has been a rise in air ambulance services in India. Recently, Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that India has a lot of potential, especially in the helicopter segment, which was underutilised. The government has also made policy reforms in order to make the services better.
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